Promotion-seeking rugby clubs face stern tests

Galway’s two leading rugby clubs, Corinthians and Galwegians, face crunch tests this weekend in their push for promotion in the Ulster Bank League.

Corinthians have a testing final run in their hopes to join the elite in division 1A, starting tomorrow night with a visit to Dubarry Park (7.30pm ) where they face Buccaneers in division 1B.

Corinthians slipped up last weekend for only the second time this season when losing to Shannon by 10-5 at Coonagh, and although they remain in the driving seat for the second-place promotion play-off, both Buccaneers and UL Bohemians are nipping at their heels.

In division 2A Galwegians are in action in Leixlip on Saturday (2.30pm ) where they also face a stiff challenge from NUIM Barnhall. The Glenina outfit is 15 points ahead of second-place Barnhall, but Galwegians will be in no mood to lose their stranglehold on automatic promotion with just three matches remaining.

In Shannon, Corithians came up against a side as strong in defence as they are in pride. Although they started strongly, Corinthians were unable to convert their domination into scoring, and the home side broke the deadlock after 20 minutes when centre Tadgh Bennett kicked a penalty fora 3-0 half-time lead.

However after the breakCorinthians made the vital breakthrough when Rory Connellan claimed the touchdown from a line-out and maul to take a 5-3 lead.

It proved short-lived. Shannon hooker Liam Cronin blocked down a rushed Corinthians’ clearance and grabbed a second try, with Bennett adding the extras for a 10-5 win.

Corinthians: D Panter, A O'Connell, F Gormley(cpt ), C Begley, B Dixon, C Murphy, M Murphy, M Byrne, J Merrigan, F Bealham, B Murphy, G Warde, D Phelan, J Burns, C Rafferty. Replacements: A Glynn, U Dillane, A Broderick, M Walsh, R Connellan.

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